Reviving the Spirit of Sumpah Pemuda
One motherland, one nation, one language", was the clamour
of young Indonesian nationalists to unify this diverse nation.
In unison, the youth pledged their unwavering commitment
to uphold solidarity of Indonesia which laid the foundation and guided
the country in its tumultuous early years as independent nation. What
can we learn from this dauntless resolution of the youth?
First, Indonesians, though culturally diverse and geographically
scattered, can unite to achieve national progress. The youth's bold
stance against political divisions resulted in national awakening to unite
the country. Similarly, young Indonesians at present should stir up the
Indonesian spirit of kesatuan as epitomized in the country's motto
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika by putting the welfare of the country before their
personal interest, enriching cultural values, and promoting tolerance in
a multicultural country.
Second, everyone can be a catalyst of change. The youth's revolution
was not a mere attempt to express their sentiments; rather, it was a
symbol of positive transformation of a country devastated by division
of interest, lack of social concern, and fear of change the same
conditions that paralyse the country at present. It is a great challenge for young Indonesians to be the change that they want in the country.
They should be the embodiment of positive attitude, progressive change,
and innovative ideas. Let us not forget that as we commemorate Hari
Sumpah Permuda, we also celebrate the youth's achievements in building
this nation. The youth are still the trailblazers of national reformation as
they were in 1928.
Third, education plays a vital role in perpetuating positive change. Young
people should devote their time, energy, and available resources to
becoming educated. Along with enhancing their knowledge and skills,
they must also realize their moral obligation to contribute to national
progress. Many of our young people who studied abroad would prefer
to work and eventually live in other countries. While young Indonesians
pursue higher education outside the country to be globally-competitive,
let us not forget to use thatskills and knowledge to help build this country.
Pantur Silaban, whose works were included in international Physics
journals published by well-known scientists, came back to Indonesia and
taught in several universities what he had learned in his studies in the US.
The young Indonesians' ideals and potentials must be nourished and they
should be taught how to value their history and celebrate their potentials
as prime movers of progressive Indonesia.